For much longer than we’ve been alive, 2nd Street in Old City has been the place to go downtown if you’re in the market for restaurant supplies, be it a couple cases of glassware or a 6′ griddle. Thanks to a combination of the internet and natural attrition, we’re now left with just two restaurant supply stores in Old City, Economy and Swift. A little over a year ago, we were worried that both stores were looking at exiting the brick and mortar realm, as the owners of both businesses had decided to list their properties for sale. Those listings have now been taken down, and if you’re currently looking to buy an NSF certified chest freezer, you can still visit either business and have your pick of the litter.
That’s not to say that nothing has changed, though. As we told you previously, the owners of Economy didn’t just own their corner building at 2nd & Arch, they also owned a few other buildings in the area which have traditionally been used for storage. One of those buildings, 124-126 N. 2nd St., is a historic structure which contains a working freight elevator. We went in there once, looking for some used restaurant chairs, and even though it was jammed with used equipment and furniture, we can tell that it had amazing bones inside. And the architecture of the exterior certainly catches the eye.
We previously told you that the building was listed for sale, for $3.2M. With 3,500 sqft floor plates and 12′ ceilings, we stated that the building would make a great residential conversion, and the zoning of the parcel permitted up to 14 units above ground-floor commercial. It seems we weren’t the only ones who thought a conversion makes sense, as developers purchased the property about half a year ago for $2.6M and are now pursuing a plan to build a one-story addition and create five apartments on the upper floors of the building, with a business downstairs. This got ZBA approval last month.
This plan comes as a bit of a surprise to us, as we would have expected that developers would try to include as many units as possible in this building, and avoid the ZBA at all costs. Instead, they’re going for enormous units which we are certain will be offered as condos, definitely at seven figure price points. We can’t think of too many examples of very high end condos offered without onsite parking, but we have to think that the developers will include parking at a nearby lot. As surface lots continue to disappear around Old City though, there’s no guarantee that any parking will stick around long term. Maybe there will be some available spots across the street, in the new National building?